I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since the inaugural Shivies last February. So much has happened, and yet so little has changed. I had such a great time putting it all together the first time that I knew I had to do it again. There is nothing more enjoyable than giving recognition to others for all their hard work, even if only virtually. If I could find a way to do it for a living, I would so be there. Heck, I’d do it for free.
Last year, I gave an official Shivie to ten bloggers who were practically robotic in their dedication to their websites. You can read all about them in 2011’s post. As far as I can tell, these same people are still just as amazing as they were last year. Probably more. They inspire me to put in more effort, while also making my jaw drop in astonishment. I really do wonder if they are all actually human and not some form of cyborg Internet cult, programmed to share humourous dog photos and pithy phrases on every trendy social media site, while also responding to emails within six months and remembering every birthday of every person they’ve ever friended on Facebook. They make it look easy when we all know it’s definitely not.
Since I didn’t want to just hand out the same award to the same ten people, I decided I’d change up the category this year. Instead of acknowledging bloggers far more devoted than I, I’d like to turn the spotlight on another astonishing group of people. People with whom I can identify just a wee bit more. People who have sacrificed their very sanity for the love of a dog.
That’s right, the 2012 Shivie goes to the brave souls who have endured life with a truly wacked-out canine. I’m not talking standard wacked-outedness either. The recipients of this award have dealt with the worst of the worst: separation anxiety, night-time zoomies, leash reactivity, human reactivity, destroyed crates, destroyed minds, destroyed shoes. These people live with, and somehow still love, dogs who have not only eaten their houses, but have then turned around and swallowed their goldfish. These dogs have then proceeded from the goldfish straight to running around the yard with panties in their mouths while the cute neighbour watches.
Yes, they really are that bad.
Despite all the chewed up lingerie, the following people haven’t given up. No matter how many bruises they have received – physical and emotional – these special people keep trying. The hope for a mellow future may be faint, but they hold fast to their beliefs in their animals. In their dogs they see something no one else does. It’s because of these bloggers, I don’t feel alone any more. Not even when sitting on the side of the road with my dog barking and lunging at a rock.
It looked at her weird, okay?
If any of the above scenarios are etched permanently in your memories, consider this award yours to cherish.
The Shivie for Perseverance goes to…
Tricks for Treats – As soon as I’d chosen the category, I immediately thought of Karen and her newly adopted Pearl. The author of this blog is also a first-time dog owner and rescuer. Many of Pearl’s, uh, rambunctious qualities are similar to Shiva’s in her earlier days. Unfortunately, their relationship has been just as wild as Pearl’s on-leash antics. But even though life with Pearl wasn’t at all what Karen expected when bringing home a dog, she hasn’t stopped hoping that it will get better.
Life With Desmond – The tagline of this blog says it all. It instantly made me smile: “We finally got a dog, and he’s a little crazy. This is the story of him dealing with us and us dealing with our first taste of parenthood.” I feel like I could have written it myself.
Kol’s Notes – I know what you’re thinking. How could such an adorable little puggle possibly cause so much trouble? Just ask his human. She’ll tell you all about life with the sneaky little devil who delights in bouncing on her head at all hours of the night. It’s not only big dogs that have the crazies. Little dogs can cause your hair to fall out too.
The Accidental Olympian – Read this awesome post and you’ll know why I am giving this hilarious blogger the award. She owns two nutty mutts, one of whom is “blind in one eye, anxious, hater of hardwoods, tail chasing, “roooo-roooo-ing,” NON-snuggling, snow loving, bad hip wielding, diabetes surviving, best trail dog ever”. And she wouldn’t trade either of them for anything. Now that’s some heart-warming dog love.
Life with Sampson and Delilah… The 411 – The author of this blog also has two dogs. In her case, one of said dogs is the perfect gentleman. Calm, well-mannered, and affectionate: everything you’d want in a lab. Her other dog, let’s call her Delilah since that’s her name, is not-so-calm. In fact, this second dog is actually guilty of physically harming her human on more than one occasion. If that doesn’t make her Shivie-worthy, nothing will.
Peaceful Dog – When I think of crazy dogs, long-time foster Fozzie pops into my brain. It’s not his fault he’s missing the normal gene as he wasn’t given the best start in life. With his foster human by his side he has already made great strides toward becoming a more social, adjusted canine. Reading the author’s experiences with Fozzie over the last two years has been enlightening. I don’t know too many more people who would do all she has done for a dog who is supposedly only temporary.
Donna and the Dogs – Donna deserves this award several times over. She must be one of the most patient women in the world. If I am feeling frustrated by my one nutty furball, after reading a few of her posts, I am immediately humbled. She has not one, not two, but three dogs, each very challenging in his or her own right. This is a woman who doesn’t know the meaning of “quit”.
Go Pet Friendly – If this was a Shivie for bravery, this family would win it hands-down. To spend the greater part of the year travelling in close quarters in an RV takes a lot of spirit for any couple, but to do it with two dogs, one slightly, er, goofier than the other? That takes guts. Their entry for Something Wagging’s Challenge shows how far they have come over the years. I’ve often recommended their Buster-training posts to others going through similar problems. These are dog people who have been through the worst and come out all the better for it on the other side.
No Dog About It – Mel’s dogs are probably much too sweet to be included in this list. However, when it comes to perseverance, this blogger has it in spades. Not everyone has what it takes to rescue a dog from a puppy mill and re-introduce her to life as Mel did with Daisy. It takes a lot of compassion and patience to work with a fearful dog. Amazingly, Mel didn’t even stop there. Recently, she has also taken on Lady, another insecure girl who is only now discovering how to relax. For all of her efforts, this blogger deserves so much more than a Shivie. Unfortunately, it’s all I have to offer.
24 Paws of Love – The title of this blog should tell you why this crew was a shoe-in for the Perseverance Award. With six very different dogs to care for and train, I don’t know how the author does it. Like last year’s winners, I am starting to think she’s part cyborg. Robo-Mama. However, every post she writes about her crazy canines is filled with so much love that she can’t be anything but pure heart.
Congratulations to all the winners! Even if they don’t always show it, I know your dogs are full of gratitude for giving them a second chance (and a third, and a seventh…). It’s not easy what you do; sometimes it’s a lot more fun than others. But it makes a huge difference in many lives. Including mine.